Monday marks the first day of full-pads during fall practice for the MSU-Mankato football team after opening up camp on Thursday.
MSU registered its ninth straight winning season last year going 8-3, but the team missed out on the playoffs.
The teams isn’t looking to just back in the playoffs this year as Head Coach Todd Hoffner says they want to win a championship.
“I think we’re light-years ahead of where we were last year and I think it’s a tribute to the players and the coaches. The whole staff, the coordinators Joe (Beschorner) and Jim (Glogowski) are really focused and determined to be better. I think the players are feeding off of that, but I think they have their own mindset and mentality of trying to win a championship.”
The coaching staff indicates that camp is off to a good start, but Hoffner added that he was more impressed with summer training.
“Some of the best training that we ever had since I started here back in 2008. So, proud of our development, proud of our player mindset and most importantly their work ethic.”
As for getting better, Hoffner implemented a new body fat program for the players in December.
“After the season I thought we got a little too comfortable. Gotta little too comfortable carrying around excess weight that’s not necessary. So, we had over 30 guys that did not make their optimal body fat zone. Of those guys that returned this fall, we hit 57 out of 60 guys.”
MSU returns six starters on offense and defense this year. The Mavericks are overall and South Division preseason favorites in the NSIC for 2017.
The season gets underway for MSU on Thursday, August 31 when the Mavericks travel to Bismarck, North Dakota to take on the University of Mary at 6 p.m.